tv Chicago Institute-- Politics CSPAN March 31, 2013 9:30pm-11:00pm EDT
now. guest: we have to look at the demographics of the country how they are changing and where we will be 20 years from now and say is it different this time and it probably is. it isn't driving the deficit now but it will soon. we will have to take money out of the trust fund at a high rate. on an accounting basis it might not look that way tpwhut reality you have to come up with the money. you are taking out more than you put in. you can solve the problem by raising the cap and that will give you a solution temporarily. but you cannot run a civilized society where people go to school until they are 25 and retire at 65 and live another 20 years. it doesn't work. guest: people don't retire at
65. guest: that's the congress and the president deciding the law. guest: the big elephant in the room that nobody wants to address is raising the retirement age. and also one of the things they've done in other countries is they don't just index the thing, they basically say older people are entitled to a certain percentage of the gp essentially. they have for doing that and then they divide the benefit up than basis. if you don't raise the retirement age people get smaller pensions. guest: you pay social security taxes up to about $112,000 in income. if you make $113,000 the income dwhrooned doesn't get taxed. now for someone in an upper income level that's terrific.
but these pime people are going to get social security later and not paying as much as they might otherwise. you talk about raising the retirement age. the angiest comments i got on my blog when i talked about raising retirement age. they said that's great for you. i do manual labor and i'm not capable of working beyond 65. guest: you have to remember people are not only living longer but they are fitter longer. guest: people didn't live to 65 back then, right? guest: right. i have memories of my grandfather of what he looked like at 62. he looked much older than i do physically and i'm 64. so that argument only gos so far. have you to make adjustments in
the labor market to permit those people to do other lines of work is my answer. >> we'll talk about the air traffic control towers that the f.a.a. is closing. then a look at the future cost of healthcare under the affordable care act. and we'll explore the irs and how it processed the tax returns filed last year worth more than $ trillion with james white. swournl live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> next the staff who raised money or the obama and romney campaigns talk about the 2012 election. . ter that q and a hen immigration legislation.
>> this year we received a record 1,893 entries from over 3,500 students in c-span's student cam video competition. watch the top 25 winning videos with their message to the president, daily throughout april, beginning monday morning at 6:50 eastern on c-span and see all the winning documentaries online at tudentcam.org. >> next, a look at the record amounts of money raised in the 2012 campaign. juliana smoot headed the campaign operations for president obama and spencer zwick was chair for mitt romney in 2008 and 2012. they also talk about the significance of online donations and the influence of outside spending groups like superpacs. hosted by the university of chicago institute of politics, this is about an hour and a alf.
>> thank you. and thanks everybody for oming. this is an exciting deal to have student of politics at the university of chicago as a chicago native, i'm just thrilled by this and thrilled to be able to take part of in it. and i wanted to start out tonight with a quote from a man named. mark hannah who lived and was more than more than 100 years ago. and he was william mckinley's campaign manager in the election of 1896. which had a lot in common with 2012, as i'm going to mention n my book. and hannah said there are three ssential things in america
politics, money and i can't remember what the other two are. and hannah went around to all of the heads of the largest corporations in america in 1896 and he got them all to make major donations to the mckinley campaign including cyrus mccormick whose corporation is based in chicago, mccormick reaper. and he just blew out william jennings bryant, the boy orator from platte, nebraska, who is the populist, and that year the economic party candidate. his time around, 2012, the money raised was a lot more even. and contrary to a lot of expectations, as we'll get into, but i wanted to just
start out with some basic facts before we start our discussion. et's start with you, spencer. how much did you raise ltogether, and how much of that was used for division and the other important functions of the campaign? >> thanks, jonathan. let me start by saying thank you to everyone at the institute of politics. david, thank for you hosting me here and allowing me to be here. coming from boston and from the romney campaign, i got an invitation to come to chicago and come to the institute of politics and pause and say
well, gosh, i wonder how i'm oing to met at the institute of politics and president barack obama's back yard. and i have to compliment everyone here at the institute of politics for the way you have welcomed not just me but other members of the romney campaign, so thank you for allowing conversations like this to take place where we can look beyond the partisan nature of politics and have a real conversation about political campaigns and what's happening. to answer your question, jonathan, we raised just under $950 million for the romney campaign. ow, that includes money that was raised of course in the primary that we raised and spent in the primary, about $100 million. we weren't able to use in the eneral election. you look at the overall spending of the romney campaign, about 2/3 of it
really went into advertising of some kind, whether that was web advertising or tv advertising. and the other sort of largest line item was other than get out the vote political apparatus, whether it was done through the digital team or the political field operations. but those are the biggest line operations. we raise the money and the political strategists spend the money. there's always a healthy debate as every campaign strategist nows in every budget meeting about trying to forecast how much will be raised and where it's going to be spent. we tried to limit as much as possible the overhead of the campaign. and try to maximize every dollar going to turn out the vote. we're not always successful in doing that, but about 2/3 goes into advertising. >> juliana, you had the first billion dollar campaign, is hat right? >> we ultimately raised $1.1 billion and it was exciting. when we hit the billion, we were like oh, my god, we never thought we'd get there. but as far as a the spending goes, you have the same issues on your side, too, the push and pull between the raising and spending but as everyone knows
we had a huge g.t.o. effort and we spent significantly on that nd on tv, too. i don't know exactly the breakdown but pretty close. require think it's close or a little less on tv? >> it's probably a little less on tv. >> you probably know the breakdown. was it less, just for the record? >> yes, i think it was less. >> less than the 2/3. >> a reason for that. >> maybe in the q&a we can get you to address that a little bit. >> there was a lot of publicity about this billion dollar goal early on in 2011, and people on the campaign were telling me, no, no, no, we'll never raise a billion dollars and that it's too bad it leaked out because it's not really in the cards. that's a ridiculously high number.
o why, other than the fact that people like the president and -- what was the -- how did you split the atom on online undraising and the other things that got you up over a billion dollars? >> well, i mean, we started out like we did in the 2007 and 2008 race. we did a lot of major donor fundraising which is usually comprised of events with the president. those tend to be the higher icket items. and with that people want to come and get their photo taken, you know, with the president or the first lady or you can say with axel rod. we did a number of events like that early on. we did some online fundraising but the online fundraising basically kicked in the last half of 2012. which makes it a little bit difficult to budget but we sort of knew, we raised $880 million
in the 2007-2008 campaign including the d.n.c. e thought ok, maybe we can get close to what we had before we raised then so that's how we sort of budgeted it. >> you didn't have the same allegiance from the donor base, you know, a lot of people on wall street had been with the obama campaign in 2008 kind of peeled off. our early events were a little bit underwhelming in 201 1. you weren't quite behind the eight-ball but you weren't doing as well as you had anticipated. so what changed? > well, i think we had set goals and we reached our goals. there were no events we didn't reach our goal. so in that case we were very
satisfied with the money we were raising. it was harder this time just in we had three million donors in the 2007-2008 race and ended up with 4.5 on this campaign and 1.9 of them, i think that's right. no, 2.9 of them were new to this campaign. to the current year. so we had a lot of new excitement, new people joining the campaign. i don't think it's a lot of folks weren't excited, it's just different. we didn't have the primaries, or the events, if you will, leading up that were just covered in the press. we had to create our own event. so going to a dinner out in los angeles, that's not going to get the press coverage, nor should it. if there's a debate somewhere, that would get coverage. when we were able to have the excitement with the president and hillary and edwards and chris dodd during that time. >> a lot of it with john edwards. >> yeah. >> so 2.9 million new donors, these are people who they'd gone all the way through 2008 and hadn't given, despite all the excitement.
>> right. >> who were those people and where did you find them? >> we did a lot of online advertising, found a lot of new online contributors. we, you know, talked to a lot of new donors that could give at the higher level and were able to get a the lo of new bundlers and those who followed what the president was doing and wanted to be a part of this campaign and for whatever reason hadn't been involved in the last one. >> what was your breakdown between the percentage that gave over $100, or $250, if you want to mesh occur that way? >> our average contribution by the time it was all said and done was $66 which is pretty amazing. so about 97% was under $250. >> ok. now, this is not really a question that you probably want to answer, spencer, but how about for you guys? >> didn't look quite like that. the obama campaign had more new
donors in 2012 than we had total. so just to put that in perspective. we had about two million donors and about four million contributions. over the course of the campaign. so about half the number of donors. when we started, we recognized that we had a -- had to go through a primary process or there wouldn't be a lot of online excitement. you can't build a big online fundraising in the primary because people aren't paying attention to the race in the primary. we knew that would come later and we were asked in every fundraising money early on, how will you raise money the way the obama fundraising does without getting millions to join the team and we were running against newt gingrich and rick santorum trying to convince the voters that will happen at some point, not to the measure of the obama campaign.
it did happen later on but early we had to build a fundraising strategy based on a high dollar approach. individuals that would give in the primary $1,000-plus. so our structure we put together was based on people that could go out and raise in $2,500 or $1,000 increments, $50,000 or $100,000 or 250,000. it was a much smaller group are people writing and raising larger amounts of money than the obama campaign. >> can you give us a little idea how much smaller? what percentage of your donors gave less than $200? >> i'll give you a couple of these that i'm sorry to read them to refresh my memory but that list is now looking through the course of the entire campaign. start with the -- our highest level which is individuals who
were responsible for $1 million. we had over 100 people on the campaign who were responsible for $1 million. >> bundlers, basically? >> as bundlers. >> right. >> in terms of giving, we had what we called the founding memberships and founding partnerships with individuals. and we looked at the giving uidelines or giving limits for the republican party. and there are always these strange numbers, $33,322. we've got to get rid of that, let's do $50,000 and $100,000 as a couple. so we marketed $50,000 founding memberships. we raised $100 million from couples that gave $50,000. we raised $80 million from people who gave $100,000 as a couple. so 50 and 100. o you're close to $200 million just from people writing at
least a $50,000 check. let's see. our club mitt program, which raised about $50 million for individuals who gave $2,500. so you can see where i'm going as you look at these numbers overwhelmingly, well over 50% f our money, more like 70% came to a high dollar program. t wasn't until the very last three months of the campaign where we started to see large amounts of money coming in over the internet, average sized contribution towards the end of the campaign would have been over the $1,000 mark. it's very different in 1966. >> was there a time -- you were enormously successful with this, much more successful and spencer was really one of the stars of the campaign for those of us who are following all of this, so you were enormously uccessful, but was there a point when you realized, you
know what, by getting all these small donors, obama is turning them into volunteers and he's getting buy-in from average people who are giving as little as $3. >> yep. >> with the original ask for the obama people. and that they are turning their small donors into people who can really help with g.o. tv and other parts of the campaign and that's a weapon we don't have. id you guys confront that? >> we did. we thought a lot about it. it wasn't something that we pretended didn't exist. we knew every time the obama campaign got someone to write a check for $2, that individual will follow their investment and turn out to vote. they were going to be there as a volunteer. it wasn't that we didn't want that, it's just that that's not where we can get the money and we were asked why do you rob banks? that's where the money is. my job was to go out and raise money. we originally thought we'd
raise -- we set a goal of $500 million and that's what we said we think we can raise $500 million based on what john ccain and george bush did. then we heard this incredible number from the obama campaign that we were going to raise $1 billion. we had a meeting and got together and asked, how do we raise $1 billion? and sure enough, they delivered $1 billion. we quickly changed the structure how we were going to get $1 billion and we came very close and we ran it like a business. every state, every region had state chairs, city chairs, our finance operations is probably the closest thing to the -- you now, i don't want to compare it to the obama political machine because that's a -- you now, a whole other
stratosphere but in terms of what we get on the finance side, holding people accountable, i mean, we fired volunteers, for instance that weren't hitting their goals. but you have to do that. if you're going to hold people to a standard and say these are the goals, these are the metrics, we measured them every day. and if they weren't working, we tried something differently and i think that's the reason we were able to come as close as we did on the money side. >> did some of them work on commission? >> i'm talking about -- these are volunteer -- >> your professional -- >> no, we -- it's a good question because in previous campaigns, many of these individuals, these consultants in various places work on a commission structure. we changed that and set a very high goal. we said look, we can go out and raise hundreds of millions of dollars and here's what that means for you in illinois. here's what that means for you in los angeles. and in every market, we had a state chair that was ultimately responsible. that state chair is a volunteer individual who is able to hire,
fire or promote the staff ithin that region. the staff were not paid on a commission, they were paid a fee if they were a consultant. if they were an employee, they were paid as an employee and then given a bonus based on us hitting certain goals. >> let's talk about the subgroups a little bit. wall street. any sense of how much money you raised from wall street altogether? >> a lot. >> i think that's right. >> we were fortunate, i think, to get a lot of people from wall street who had been previous donors to the obama campaign in 2008 or to the clinton campaign in 2008. and so if you look at what we did in new york in the primary of 2008 versus what we did in he primary 2012, comparing primary to primary, our new york number was up by about 85%. so if you're looking at wall street, and i would say overwhelmingly, those individuals gave money or voted for barack obama or hillary clinton in 2008.
>> wow. >> we had meetings with folks in new york who we would do a little survey and without elling us who they voted for in the primary, on the democratic side, it was clear that the overwhelming majority of the room voted for and gave money to one of the democratic candidates and they said we're not doing that this time. >> it's been scary for you. >> it was really scary, it was. you know, we heard all the chatter from our new york folks. we had staff in new york, we had a small office there and they were a little nervous. the great thing is we were able to find new dollars in different communities, the lbgt community, we were able to find new donors. women came out in droves and they gave with their checkbook, too. >> any note, any idea of what percentage of your total money came from wall street? > if you take new york city,
it's probably the closest we can break that down, more than 15% of the money from the entire country came from new york city. >> and how about you guys, any sense of how much came from wall street? >> you know, we tried to do that. it was substantially less than what we did before but it was not -- i don't know the percentage. >> you measured everything, juliana. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> everything. can you give us ballparks? >> we did really well in new york. if you look at it, it might have been, you know, the couple -- one of them may have worked on wall street but we might have gotten a check from the other. >> sometimes you get one from the wife and maybe the husband would be -- since there was a gender gap -- >> right.
>> maybe one would be giving to romney and the wife to obama? >> possibly. >> was there some of that? >> i don't know. e didn't really look at that too closely but probably. >> we would see that from time to time in places like new york and l.a. and boston. that would definitely be the case. remember, as juliana said, a lot of the fundraising at the high dollar level is event-driven and means the candidate or the president shows up to a market and they have an event and that's what drives a lot of the excitement and money raising. when the sitting president of the united states shows up in any market, i don't care where it is, there's going to be excitement and people will -- who may otherwise not be inclined to write a check without an event get very excited about that. >> and the president was doing as many as six fundraisers a day, right? >> we did a lot of fundraisers. > you have any idea how many
he did altogether? >> i don't know the answer to that. it's a lot, though. more than has been done in the past. but, you know, the difference in 2008 and 2012, you know, he's a sitting president. we had, you know, the secret service we had to take into account their restrictions of where we could do events which ould limit the space for the number of people we could raise from. even as fundraisers, we wanted to add 20 people who could write the maximum and sometimes space restrictions we weren't allowed to do that. that was a different befall. e had to do more events. >> right. o after the gay marriage announcement, did you see donations from the lbgt community just spike? could you actually see it? >> we had folks that were trying to figure out on their calendars when they could do events, folks that would host fundraisers. we had several calls that day coming in. i think we can do it next month if it works for the president's schedule or vice president biden. so it kind of opened up a lot of events, people were ready to actually make the commitment and do the event.
>> and spencer, how about in the mormon community, how big of a deal was that? any rough idea of what percentage of your money came from that community? >> throughout the campaign, no. it was a much bigger part of our fundraising in 2008 in the primary, to be honest, it became -- we raised records amounts of money in places like salt lake city, utah, in the primary of 2008. we actually raised more in the primary of 2008 in utah than we did in 2012 in the primary. here was definitely an evening out of the support. it wasn't just from, you know, you start a fundraising campaign and you start with people who the candidate tends to know, has a long-standing relationship with. so we started with people that
governor romney had known many years from his church, from his business in private equity, from the boston community. but that definitely evens out over time. >> while we're on this subject, spencer comes from mormon royalty and his father, correct me if i'm wrong, your family dates back to joseph smith, right? and you were in the original group of the inner core of the original mormons and your father was one of the most -- is one of the most important people in the mormon hurch. >> i don't date back quite that far. actually, my grandfather joined the mormon church when he was 7 years old. >> ok. all right. i don't know why i -- in any event, your father is a -- i'm glad you corrected me on the history. this part is correct, is one of the senior most officials. >> he is. >> in the mormon church. so were you surprised that there was not more
discrimination against mitt romney based on his faith than there turned out to be? there were quite a number of vangelicals who had told pollsters they just could not vote for a mormon under any circumstances and then they did. was that a surprise? >> not so much a surprise that they voted for him because we knew they weren't going to turn out and work for president obama. the question is, were they actually going to mobilize for mitt romney? o we weren't worried they were going to leave the republican party and go help president obama. but, you know, it's something you deal with -- we talked a lot more about it in the primary than we did in the general elections. remember, governor romney was still a mormon when he became the governor of massachusetts.
we said remember, this is a guy that the mormon millionaire who won for governor in massachusetts. so i don't think -- we never really saw it as a problem from the general population. it was something we talked about much more in the primary than the general. >> and did it hurt him in the primary? you think he might have wrapped it up earlier if he had not been a mormon? >> i think the running in 2008 certainly paved the way for him in 2012. the questions we got in 2018 -- 2008 didn't exist in large measure in 2012. >> ok. let's talk about the online dimension of this. juliana, why don't you talk a little bit about the quick donate button and the, you know, what they sometimes called drunk donating, like drunk texting where things would go wrong for the campaign, you know, people would just donate --
>> buy a bunch of t-shirts and wonder what shows up at their door? >> was that that big of a deal, the quick donate? >> it was a big deal in that, you know, when we were able to get it happening, it was a huge help for most people, for the majority of folks but there were times when people would say, i don't want the -- you know, the 10 obama t-shirts i ordered. i don't recall ordering them so we would send them back to folks. but even when you shop online, it's great when you go to the autosite twice and it fills everything and has a record. that was great to be able to have that. and we came up -- i don't know if you use that this much but remember the texting to donate on your phone? we raised about a million with that one that got approved, too, which was a quick way for folks to give. >> i heard it was a lot more
than that, the phone -- >> about a million in our champagne. >> it was late in the campaign when it finally got approved to where you could do it. because cell phone providers and others didn't want that to necessarily happen, so there was -- i know there was a big push to try to get it done early on in the campaign. i can't remember when it was, but it was late in the campaign when that finally was approved. >> juliana, could you talk a little bit about the famous email that -- the headline of which, i will be outspent from the president which was tested over and over again and eventually started yielding, i think it was $12 million on that one email, and how the kind of cracking the code on online fundraising helped?
>> sure. you know, the online community is an interest -- it's a diverse community, as we all know. we're all part of it, too. >> we could not be too obnoxious. if someone called and complained i got the same e-mail four times, we'd look into it and say okay, you have a g- mailaccount or hot mail account. you have to send out the e- mails to get the money online. >> did you guys figure may be we should send more e-mails? i know you started with the $3 ask also which was very popular. did you ever notice that you could not be too obnoxious? >> we were constantly sending out e-mails and constantly soliciting online. you got to be creative how you solicit whether it's a contest of some kind. so it's not just another e-mail from the campaign. you look at how we raised our
money at the romney campaign, the finance focus was on the high dollar community. people will say that was a mistake you shouldn't have done that. we tried to get creative in how our leadership team would so solicit fund. we provided e-mails and so it didn't just come from the campaign. if you're the state chair of illinois or market chair for los angeles, you begin to send out solicitation e-mails as opposed to coming from the national campaign. >> that's interesting, they will send to their business associates and that would be more influential coming from somebody in boston? thee also created towards middle of the general election something called a vertical mark program. we ended up raising about $60 million doing this.
an extended period. industrycontact leaders from whether it's the insurance base or the financial services or pick an industry and try to find a uniting issue around all the leaders would be supportive of. then we used an e-mail from one of those industry leaders saying come and support this event. those were fantastic. that was basically a $65 million gift because we had ceos other industry leaders
trying to leverage other people from within their industry. when someone that is an industry leader and my industry sends me an e-mail rather than the campaign headquarters, i'm much more inclined to respond. >> a skeptic might say those folks were encouraged to get in order to buy favors if mitt romney was elected. how would you respond to that? >> you can certainly say that about every single donor. if that's why someone give that they're going to be disappointed. >> what level do they have to give where they get access? if you're giving $66, you're not
getting access unless you win the lottery to have dinner with the president or something like that. what level in the romney campaign did you get an audience with the candidate? >> towards the end of the campaign, there really were no audience with the candidate. he will show up and do events but there were no events with less than several hundred people set drug. it wasn't exactly one on one audience with the candidate. but we would use issues that were important to that industry and encourage a leader in that industry to bring others in because of two or three issues based on what governor romney feel on that issue versus president obama. you would use broad issues as opposed to detail policy. mr. let's talk about super pacs. neither were your campaigns allowed to coordinate with the super pacs.
you guys liked your smaller super pacs that weren't yours. you had bill burton doing on behalf of the president. you kind of liked what he was getting done. but in boston, not so much. you weren't thrilled with -- feeling like the super pac spending was getting its money worth. can't law said you coordinate with the super pac. that's uncomfortable place to be, there's some group out that's running an ad, they
had no communication with you and they can be going down a road that we have no interest in talking about. there's always an element of surprise when it comes to a super pac, good, bad or indifferent. >> especially when there are a bunch of them. you guys had one. >> right. >> we weren't on the same page at all. >> towards the end, they finally figured out. they realized they couldn't communicate with the campaign. they can actually communicate with each other. towards the end, they started
communicating with each other and that really helped. in the primary, you could say the super pac was the restore our future super pac played a big role on behalf of governor romney. remember he lost south carolina to newt gingrich. he had ten day or so before we had to go to florida. not a lot of campaign cash at that point. this was late in the primary. we had raise and spent a lot of money. remember, you can't spend the general election money. the super pac outspent in florida by probably 10 to 1. you can say that had a big impact in the state of florida for governor romney winning florida. >> right. a lot of that was also taking out gingrich. 90% of that was negative. >> sure. >> what was the worst moment for you? was it june when you realized that spencer, in the month of may, it outraised you for may be going the second time barack obama whole history in presidential politics? were you surprised you got beat? >> yes, it was like a punch in the gut. we're used to winning the money game. when i was invited to speak here, i was so excited to meet spencer.
we figured out this money thing. it's a little bit harder this time than 2008. then when they did so amazingly well, -- we're going to have more donors. it was a good lesson. >> i think jim messina described it as a hockey stick, it's going like this and it went like that. were you confident that that was going to happen? >> yes, we were always confident that was going to happen. they raised about $440 million the digital team. most of that was raised in the last two months of the campaign. >> wow. what was your worst moment in terms of -- was it that same period when you weren't sure -- when you couldn't use legally or general election? >> it was when i first read that president obama was going to raise a billion dollars.
that, oh my goodness, we are going to be massively outspent here. there was sort of discussion, do we take public finance. what are we going to do? there was this element of this has never been done before but they said they will do it and can we match them. that was the first big moment of we can be in trouble. the other was when we were raising money in the general election before governor romney was the nominee. just to explain how that works, when you are the primary candidate you can raise money in $2500 increments. remember we raised and spent $100 million to win the primary.
the obama campaign could raise money for the primary but they didn't have a primary so they can use that money to attack governor romney and build a general election strategy. we start with a $100 million deficit basically and that money is gone and now we're in april or may. governor romney is the presumed nominee the gavel hasn't gone down at the convention. we're raising general election money but we're not allowed to spend it legally. that was a very -- >> does that mean all future republican conventions will be in june so you don't have that? >> if you can get it done in
june or may for that matter, from a fundraising standpoint it would be fantastic. usuallyarty that supports campaign finance reform opted out of the rules, starting in 2008 and you guys were kind of handcuffed by these rules that you also didn't support. you took the handcuffs off. now, there was a lot of criticism of that. campaignink that the contributed to the sort of just of wash in money. for 30 years we had limitations during general election campaigns when both parties accepted public financing. is it fair to say that barack obama blew up the public financing system? would we just knew we have more flexibility with the amount of money we could raise.
we knew we would be able to do that because of the decision we made knowing that would likely be the case. >> you end up being less worried about citizens united as time went on. early on it was a big concern and then when you saw that super pacs were not spending well on the other side, became less of concern? >> spencer is right, had they
figured out earlier that they could communicate and one of them could take florida and one of them could do something else, that would have made us more concerned. it just didn't get the traction that we saw. we were able to still build the low dollar fundraising. >> is it part of it that the money, this would be for both of you, that the money raised by super pacs, only works on television? if doesn't give you edge on the ground. if somebody goes to a door and knocks and say i'm here for restore our future and they go what is that. it doesn't translate on the ground and whatever limitations there are with tv advertising especially people time shift more and don't watch television used to. might mean the super pacs don't have much influence that we assumed a couple years ago. >> i wouldn't say tv advertising, advertising in general. to think that a super pac can take the place of a field operation from a campaign, i think it's -- you can't replace the value of somebody knocking on a door making a phone call and saying, i'm calling from the romney for president campaign or obama for america campaign, because you represent the campaign. you represent the candidate. you're exactly right. what reason do people have -- there's no brand built around a super pac. it's simply an a.t.m. to advertise. >> when did you realize that you were going to get beaten on the ground? was that after the election that you understood how good the obama ground game was?
>> for me, there was never an expectation that we would win the ground game. that wasn't the -- the obama campaign, the democratic party for years has been able to have an unbelievable ground game. what was frustrating to me what i didn't know until afterwards is that we didn't really have a good sense of what the obama campaign was actually doing on the ground. i'm fine getting beaten on the ground but i'm not okay with not having good intelligence about what the other side is doing. that's the part that was
frustrating. >> in terms of the online, in terms of the digital part, did you just feel like you got beat on that on the digital side? >> well, the obama campaign and julianna can speak to this in greater detail, did a great job bringing in talent from the digital world. thespect if you looked at digital department at the obama for america campaign, was a lot of people had no experience in politics but a lot of experience with the digital world. we had people that were experienced in the digital world but probably because of the association with politics. that's something that quite republican have to take a hard look at. the republican party does not
completely reexamine its ability to build a digital team. silicone to go to valley and start going on a recruiting mission and saying what can we do to get digital leaders involved in the republican party. we will never catch up. it's not going to be built by people that are involved in politics and have a side hobby of technology. it has to be people with an expertise in technology. >> in book i'm reading, called "the geek gap" whatever reason you guys were not able to attract the code writers and the other people under 30 understand social networking and understand analytics. when there was a proposal to do something in a bigger way, more like chicago, in boston, person
making the proposal said we can't do this in boston because there are not enough republican gigs to get it done. we'd have to have the operation in salt lake city. that was the original proposal. how do you go about closing the geek gap? issuenk this is a party going forward. the party, i know they are doing this, that's something they're taking a hard look at. what can we actually do to close that gap. there are some things that are happening right now. i don't respect the -- represent the party so i can't speak to those specific things the party is doing. everyone is well aware of it and very focused on it. pointing out that there is a gap, i don't think it's news to anyone to the republican party. the question is what will they do about it. >> on the democratic side, is it really true that the people
with no experience in politics came from the tech world in chicago, made major contribution or was it more the people who had some experience in politics and some digital experience were the ones that you got the better performance out of? >> i think it was a combination. we have a lot of wonderful folks that we recruited from the tech world. their first love was technology and they decided to come over to politics. lot of the folks will come over to network gotv web and it was kind of interesting. as any campaign, you figure out how to work together as a team. iere's the tech world, couldn't understand them a lot of the time. but they worked together and figured it out and we're successful. a lot of them didn't come from the same backgrounds that we ultimately -- >> could you talk a little bit about the facebook targeted sharing program and how that worked? >> they were always working on that. >> but facebook ended up being a big deal right?
>> right, it was a huge deal. that's how we communicated with a lot of folks. i don't know all the detail about it. >> we're going to open this up for questions. how is this going to change in 2016? let's start on the republican side, you talk about building a different kind of model that uses the web more. does the republican party have to go through a full transition on this? or do you think four years from now, it will still mostly high network individuals? >> i think pretending it's whether republican or democrats pretending whoever runs in 2016, the best technology is not going to create a cause for that candidate. i think that's the thing that people have to remember. the cause is built by the message. the technology simply enables that and gets people involved. that really doesn't happen until much later in the campaign. so it's two individuals decide to run for president in the
primary on the democratic side, they are going to have to the build a high dollar network. if they think they're going to be able to go out and just have this digital go from a campaign to a cause and have and match the number that's julianna is talking about $66 per contributions that's not going to happen. >> it's much like a start-up. same thing is true in 2007? >> right. >> how do you think, hillary clinton or whoever is the democratic candidate four years from now, what's the next generation on the democratic side? >> i think there will be a lot of tools. you have to have the major donors component. there are still people want to give money to see the candidate. folks that can write $30,000 checks aren't going to probably go online and give. some folks do but they rather go to a dinner and see the
nominee or the candidate. but, it's smart to start the microtargetting. you have to know that information early on. that's the kind of stuff you can know and know what mode. >> do you know who george clooney fans were? >> you can probably get to that without all the analysis. we didn't know that for that george clooney event. i went and it was great. >> they had a section of the campaign called the -- cave. can the cave figure out who will be more interested in invitations. it was getting closer to that. it was more when we started how folks wanted to be communicated with. >> i think we're at the part of the program where we can take some questions. >> first in the case of super pacs will there be a conflict of interest when the campaigns tap into the same donor base. shifting after the election, recently the "new york times" reported that -- organizing for action is having a direct million dollar mark and mr. jay carney addressed with a couple press meetings. any of you like to comment on that. not from a specific case but hypothetical sense. how is the former campaign money machine being operated in terms of access or policy making? >> we're still in the process of putting it together. we're still working on that. we're still working on it. >> you stated you believe in c4s. if you were going to raise this kind of money, it should be all be disclosed. >> we won't be taking money from lobbyist or pacs. >> if c4, how do you know whether you're taking money from lobbyist or pacs? >> we'll do a vet for them. >> just sort of decode this a little bit, c4, technically you
don't have to disclose your donors. where is the transparency in that? >> well, technically, you don't have to put on your website who our donors are and we did that too. we're still in the phases of figuring all of that out. i know this is lame answer but that's what we're doing >> on the super pac question for you, in terms of competition for donors, there's a limit what somebody can give to the campaign. what we would always tell donors, they should max out their entire contribution to the romney campaign and the party before engaging in any discussion with super pacs. i'm sure that there are plenty of people that donated to the super pac that didn't end up giving to the campaign but i would imagine that's a pretty small slice of people. gow to the imagine if -- you got to imagine if somebody gave $100,000 to a super pac to support governor romney, chances are it's a big supporter and believe in the campaign and therefore also contribute to the campaign. super pacs were created for
people to give above and beyond to the campaign finance laws. democrats what the think about this. after the 2012 election, how comfortable are you with the fact that both your presidential candidate and vice candidate went to kissed the ring of sheldon adelson. it came out the other day his company, the sands corporation, admitting in filings with the securities and exchange commission that they violated the foreign corrupt act and engaging in bribery overseas. aren't there some real problems for society when you have billionaires who can essentially give unlimited amounts of money. he gave over $100 million to those super pacs. isn't that troubling for you at all? >> you have to separate the
issue, saying somebody who is a donor has admit something to the security and exchange commission, it's unfair to say that the campaign shouldn't associate with that individual when we're not told that information ahead of time. we do a very good job of vetting all the contribution. every bundler every time we go to someone's home, we do research to make sure to know if there's anything there that can possibly embarrass the campaign. with thousands of people serving as bundler and donors, you're going to end up taking a contribution from someone who may openly have to refund. >> i guess the larger question i'm trying to get at over here is whether there's any -- the republican party is going through a lot of reassessments now. even though you had good standards for who can give and you vetted them carefully. enormous, you -- nonetheless,
you had four or five billionaires giving unthinkable amount of money. >> so did the democrats. >> i don't think we had anybody at that level. >> do you have anybody that gave more than $10 million? not this time but in 2004, george soros gave a huge amount of money. i'm going to get more cosmic issue here whether this is good for democracy or not on other side? >> the law is the law. right now with the citizens united, the law says an individual can basically write unlimited check to a super pac 527 organization. it would require a conversation from both sides, republicans and democrats saying what should the law be going forward as it relates to campaign finance. should it be people can give unlimited amount with complete disclosure. can there be campaign limits and no super pac? that's in discussion i think both sides have to have. you can't just say republicans are the party of big money where we're going to get people
writing million dollar checks. that happens on both sides of the aisle. there's plenty of data to show that. i would be open for discussion with both parties saying what actually works going forward. i would be in favor of complete disclosure. it happens with the unions as well. the idea that the democratic party can raise hundreds of millions of dollars from unions with little to no disclosure, is no difference than somebody writing a large check. >> anything else? >> hi, my long term goal is to work for the gop in the next presidential race in 2016 as part of the a political communications team. i have a question. i started out in the collegiate debate how to frame issues. coming back from there, i interned for the romney campaign with dan rutherford as well as did a recent internship in london. i find myself loss on what steps i need to take next to be involved in presidential race. given both of your extent experience in politics, what would you advise me as my next
few steps request >> lot of people want to know that. how do you get into this game? >> what i would do is try to get on a campaign for 2014. that's the great thing about campaigns. i've been doing it for a long time. i'm old. the great thing about it, i started out fundraising when i was 22. you get a promotion, if you're get at it, you get a promotion every two years. i would say get involved with a campaign this cycle. you can do something for 2013 and you can go do a senate race may be in 2014.
republican candidates would want to pick up for 2016 because of the experience you would have gained in the past few years. >> i agree with that. i think picking a candidate and picking one early is the advice i would give you. a lot of folks say, i don't want to pick the wrong one. i want to make sure i'm with the winning ticket.
don't wait around to try to figure out who the actual nominee is going to be. pick someone early. at the end of the day that person doesn't win the nomination, you will be the top of the list. i look at people we hired at romney campaign, we had a lot of people who worked on other campaigns in the primary. don't worry about whether that person will be the nominee. pick a candidate who you believe in and go to work for them. >> i would agree to that. i was in d.c. in 2006. i helped democratic senate
campaign committee when we took back the majority. then senator obama said to me, if i do this, you will go with me right. i said sure. that right there, i decided to go with obama over clinton. before i even asked any of the questions, what was your biggest fundraiserrer. i got this lady out in san diego who raised me $35,000. i'm like great.
i'm going up against the clinton machine who had a database of 20,000 names in it, not e-mail addresses. i really believed he would be the best democratic nominee and hopefully president. i did that and it's been a fun ride. i would agree with you definitely. >> i had not had any experience on a political campaign but to reinforce that point, i joined governor romney working for him at the olympics in salt lake city. i'm going to run for governor massachusetts, would you come out and work on my campaign. i had no interest in politics at that point. i said no, i'm not interested. i've got a job in new york.
i told my wife, she said are you nuts, tell him we're moving to boston. we moved to boston, three years later, he asked me to be his national finance director for the campaign. when i moved to boston, i had no idea what finance fundraising was. pick someone you believe in. >> how cold were you at -- how old were you at that point? when you started with him when you first went to boston? >> 23. >> then you became finance director at what age? >> i guess i was 26. i was 22 when i first left >> wow, that's pretty amazing. >> i like to come back to a question that was covered you think it may be even covered even more. that's the issue of funding from smaller donors that really can't start until the nominee is the presumed nominee. yet that funding is much more effective in terms of advertising what it buys terms
of grassroots. both parties are going to be in that situation in 2016 with the primaries. howing what you know about this works, what can a candidate do or how can the party somehow get things going before people really are willing to step up? even if the conventions are in july or i can't quite that, earlier, there's going to be this big problem after that where small donations are going to be particularly important. mr. zwick, you faced this after the republican convention. advertising had to go quiet there for a period which was kind of a critical period during the democratic convention and soon after that. any thoughts that either of you have about how that can be handled? >> can we straighten out a cup of the facts. you weren't under any limitations at the democratic convention? it was after the republican
convention. you could have advertised as much as you wanted any time after the republican convention is just your plan was to do more of it late in september and october? >> that's right. >> the limitations that the law provide around high donors not small donors. if you have a small donor base, none of these limitations apply. so called people maxed out in the primaries that their dollars can't be used until general election right? >> [indiscernible]. >> the republican party used to have a bigger donor base in the 1990's. >> what you need is time to build that up as the presumed
nominee. i don't want to put allly blame on the party. you have to point out the fact that having 20 debates and having 10 candidates on the stage, everyday that you go on prevents someone from emerging as the leader of the party. i'm talking about the republican party here. people are waiting to get involved. once people knew governor romney was the presumed nominee, that's when the low dollar checks started to come in. as long as we have 20 debates and this drawn out republican primary process, we will suffer from got -- not getting the smaller dollar contribution. >> we'll run into that in 2016. that happened with the 2008 race for us as well. senator obama was a different
candidate than a lot of your typical candidates. >> you don't think there's any chance in the next four years to get any kind of new rules that may be empowers small donors? change the rules in way that benefits democracy? >> that would be great. >> there are a lot of localities that have matching programs now and including in some republican areas like arizona that are very popular at the local level. is that something that we can hope for? >> it would be great. i don't see that happening between now and the next presidential race. >> right. >> thank you for coming. i have a question about the smallest campaign that you ever were a part of? do you remember which one that is? i don't know the answer. >> probably my own when i ran for student class president. my freshman year. i didn't win.
i didn't have to raise any money for that either. >> i guess the first campaign you were raising money for a statewide office or a representative in the house. what's the difference between beyond just scale, what are the differences between those types of races? >> well, when i first started fundraising the internet had not been invented. it was all calls. i worked for lieutenant governor mark from pennsylvania and then the mare of d.c. it was making phone calls for eight hours a day. that's how you did it back in the day. you will print invitations and do stuffing parties at night and mail out hard invitations to invite people to the event. it was crazy. >> what do you think it is that makes you want to do something that most people hate doing raising money? >> i think it's kind of fun. it's black and white. if you were having an event tonight, you can say people will not come.
we will not make our goal because of that. you can make the excuses but with the dollar figure it's black and white. youhe goal is $10,000, raised $8500, you didn't reach your goal. tos all about figure out how make your goal. >> i would agree, on a political campaign, everyone wants to be and thinks they're the strategist. every donor believes they got the idea that's going win the race. nobody comes to offer a lot of ideas for fundraising. great thing about fundraising, you can measure it. we had a saying in -- i had a thing on my wall that said, if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. we like to measure everything
that we did in the finance shop. it's harder to measure things when there's an election day so far out. every month we were able to measure fundraising. how we were doing versus the obama campaign. we had daily metrics every morning with every one of our state directors and they to report in much money they had hand that day. i loved that and you can measure it and you're adding real value to the campaign along the way. au want to get involved with political campaign, now it sound like i'm doing a commercialtor a fundraiser, go show the campaign that you're willing to help raise money and you will be welcomed with open arms. >> i fully agree with that. >> how do you think rahm emanuel got his start?
gott that the way he started >> he is a great fundraiser. phenomenal. >> anybody else have a question? i want to double check on your age. i'm still blown away by it. how old are you now? >> 33. >> don't ask me jonathan. >> i'm retiring from politics >> until you run right? >> there will not be a race here. >> it is interesting, fundraiserring is a way that most people think about that most people don't want to do. for those trying to get involved in politics, if you have the talent for it or the stomach for it, it can be pretty good way into the game. tell us a little bit about mitt romney's future since you know him pretty well. he just did an interview. he's going to speak at cpac.
int do you think his role the republican party going forward? >> let me first say that working for governor romney while the outcome wasn't what i and many others hoped it would be, it was an honor and privilege to work for that man. he is a man of decency be he's a man of integrity and that's attracted me to governor romney and his family. i would not have dedicated the amount of time and the years that i did. this isn't what i do. raising money for political campaigns isn't what i thought what i be doing.
i did this because i believed in mitt romney and the person i thought would be a great president. when you lose a campaign particularly for president, there are aren't a lot of case studies. well,n't look and say, what if someone that is not current an office holder that already built a very successful career and then loses the presidency go and do next? it's not go back to the senate, it'll not go -- it's not go back and be governor. i can tell he's not going to go away. we spent close a billion dollars building a cause and almost half the country turned out and supported his candidacy. there's got to be something there. you haven't seen the end of mitt romney. >> take us back to election night a little bit. it's not that dramatic on the democratic side. youall were surprised that lost.
why were you surprised? why did that happen? oni was surprised depends what point of the election night going into election day, i had spent five days on the road with governor romney campaigning all over the country. when you show up and you see 50 and 60,000 people coming together at the end of a campaign, you can't help but feel the momentum is moving in your favor and you're going to win. some of the people would say the polling was off. it's not that we made up in our minds, we had polling that told us that things looked -- >> let me interrupt you on that for a second, is it right the polling models used 2004 results and 2010 results did not include the 2008?
>> that may be right for some. our internal models used -- >> you sure? >> yes. >> one of the sort of con fabs after the election, neil newhouse said it was lightly weighted. >> there was certainly an assumption there that data, the turnout model wouldn't be overly accurate. but to say it wasn't used is not accurate. >> but it was so off. you're in business and you know that sort of wishful thinking can really cloud judgment. where were skeptics? was there anybody in the campaign who willing to say, you know, our internal polls are at odds. you saw some movement in the polls at the end of the race based on hurricane sandy. would that have changed the outcome, i'm not suggesting that.
there were events towards the end of the campaign you can look to. if someone from the romney campaign say i knew we will lose because of the data, they were lying to you. the fact is, i thought we were going to win. eveningat time in the did you realize that you weren't going to win? >> when virginia -- first florida was looking much closer than we thought.
i heard the numbers from ohio. he may have called president obama when that was happening. >> there was an hour after that before it was a concession -- inthere was some confusion ohio and colorado. we said, let's be certain. when it was clear that -- >> it was clear governor romney was more rational about the whole thing? some people were saying let's hold out. he was saying, we lost.
governoring about romney he is, by definition a very data driven rational thinker. you won't see him get -- he doesn't make decisions by emotion. thatly there were people didn't want to admit this is over. governor romney always one to look at the data and let the data make the decision. >> this is one of the things that anybody has any other questions, jump in any time -- this is one of the thing that interest me the most. you describe himself a data driven and numbers guy, could you make an argument there was this role reversal in 2012. it was the obama campaign that ran a bain campaign where
everything was data driven. everything was about the metrics. the romney campaign seeing big crowds, feeling big sense of momentum, ran essentially a hope that people want change campaign and they ran the more kind of a facts rather than data. >> i don't think it was fair to say there was not data on the romney campaign. there were plenty of data and we were measuring plenty of things. we may have had the wrong data and made decisions based on wrong data and changing demographics and using old models to look at that. basednly made decisions on data. our polling information that had us winning was wrong. the data was still there. >> give us a little insight into how democrats kind of got their act together? they used to be so much worse at politics than republicans. if you go back to 1984 when president bush was reelected and they ran a better get out the vote operation.
it's true that the democrats had george soros and think couldn't get over the finish line. what changed in the dna in the democratic party that got them to get their act together? >> we started earlier. jim messina our campaign manager -- fundraising is what we do. everyday we see where we are. but the whole campaign was doing that. mitch, stewart, jeremy, everyday they say how many phone calls we made. we hear it every morning with our senior staff. it mattered and think we started measuring the one on one contact very early. we started in 2007 and 2008 and carried over some of it into the d.n.c. thingt was a brilliant about the obama campaign, much of that activity never ended. it continued and governor romney became the nominee at the convention but he was really the presumed nominee probably in april or may. you really have a five year
period to build up and to use this data versus a six month period of time. this is where i think a conversation has to take place and hopefully the republican party, think the republican party did a good job of getting themselves out of debt and being able to have an infrastructure ready to go for governor romney. there was no real data. there was nothing -- other than
being able to get people to write larger check, it wasn't available for us as a party. the obama campaign had five years to build this one, which was brilliant insight and thinking on their part. >> was there a sense at the end that the primaries forced romney too far to the right and that was hard to get back to the center? >> he'd already run before, maybe he hadn't run in 2008, you can say than he gone through the primary process in 2008. >> on immigration, he did an interview the other night, he said, we didn't reach out enough to minorities. he painted himself in a corner on immigration during the primaries. >> well, when you have ten candidates standing up on stage and in order to make news, one candidate raises his or her hand
to try so move the entire party further to the right, that dynamic is only going to grind out the primary process and push everybody further to the right. it would have been great if during the primary, the republican leaders would have said, here is the republican party's position on immigration as opposed to letting 20 different candidates up there all voice a position and move each other further right. >> i think on that note, we are going to bring this terrific unbelievably enlightening conversation to a close. so thank you so much. [applause]